Moevao v Department of Labour: 1980

(New Zealand) Richardson J said: ‘The justification for staying a prosecution is that the court is obliged to take that extreme step in order to protect its own processes from abuse. It does so in order to prevent the criminal processes from being used for purposes alien to the administration of criminal justice under law. It may intervene in this way if it concludes from the conduct of the prosecutor in relation to the prosecution that the court processes are being employed for ulterior purposes or in such a way (for example, through multiple or successive proceedings) as to cause improper vexation and oppression. The yardstick is not simply fairness to the particular accused. It is not whether the initiation and continuation of the particular process seems in the uncertain circumstances to be unfair to him. That may be an important consideration. But the focus is on the misuse of the court process by those responsible for the law enforcement. It is whether the continuation of the prosecution is inconsistent with the recognised purposes of the administration of criminal justice and so constitutes an abuse of the process of the court.’


Richardson J


[1980] 1 NZLR 464

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Leeds Magistrates Court ex parte Serif Systems Limited and Hamilton Admn 9-Oct-1997
The applicant sought that summonses be set aside as an abuse of process, being begun to embarrass him as he set out to become an MP. Thirty one private summonses had been issued.
Held: Of the summonses to be continued it could not be said that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Criminal Practice

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.225278